After a long, arduous and unpredictable season, the players of the Premier League are finally getting a rest (of sorts); however there are accolades to be handed out. Big accolades! Accolades that the players have been striving towards all season, accolades such as being named in the bm23 sports reviews Premier League Team of the Season!
He’s the best keeper in the league and has added another fantastic season to his wall of many fantastic seasons (can’t be much room left). If not for a cruel own goal in the final moment of the final match of the season De Gea would have won the golden glove (alongside Cech), but his 15 clean sheets in 34 matches is a formidable return. One of the things which is remarkable for me about De Gea is that in situations where with any other keeper you’re expecting the attacker to score, you expect De Gea to make the save, he does some incredible stuff. I can’t think of any major mistakes which he made which cost his team a result, which is another reason why he is in the team of the year, however if you’re looking for De Gea’s true worth then look no further than Utd’s first four games of the season when Romero started. Romero did a solid job keeping 3 clean sheets out of 4, however in the one game which he didn’t (against Swansea) he had an absolute howler, conceding two very soft goals, certainly one of those two you couldn’t have seen De Gea losing… Soft points thrown away due to a manager’s stubbornness, saying that if my auntie had balls she’d probably have a totally different personality…or however it goes.
David De Gea
At only 21 years old, Bellerin has already solidified himself as the starting right back for Arsenal and is already one of their best players. A solitary goal along with 5 assists from right back is a solid return for a position which stats don’t really show the entire picture. Bellerin’s energy up and down the pitch helps to stretch teams out for an Arsenal team who play very narrow. The energy to get up and down the pitch is a massively underrated skill in football and Bellerin excels at it, his pace is also blistering and I can only see him improving in the years to come.
I wouldn’t criticise Alderweireld for Spurs’ last few games of the season where it looked like the entire team had given up after it seemed like the league title had got away from them, because he was so damn good for the rest of the season. Interestingly enough, Alderweireld was one of the only players who didn’t lose the head in that game against Chelsea, the same game where he missed his first minutes of the season. He was a total iron man for Spurs this year, starting every single game and being an absolute rock at the back. Alderweireld also only committed 9 fouls all season, a stat which points to an intelligent defender who isn’t drawn into making fouls; he also added 4 goals which is always nice.
Smalling was a massive part of the joint best defence in the league (ironically costing his team the best defence in the league crown with a last second own goal). His improvement over the last year and a half has been phenomenal and he is one of the few major success stories under Louis Van Gaal. Smalling was a major part of the best defence and best clean sheet record in the league (both joint top), and was imperious at the back and big in the air for a team who are on the short side.
I struggled to pick a left back, mainly because I don’t think that there is one outstanding candidate, for that reason I plumped for Monreal. Monreal isn’t really flashy, he just does his job and does it well. Much like Arsenal I do feel that Monreal’s form dipped in the second half of the season, however in the first half he was a big part of Arsenal’s early title challenge surge, however in typical Arsenal style it fell flat, in contrast Monreal went from being outstanding to being very good.
A really easy choice for the right side of midfield, it’s with a stats line that reads 17 goals and 11 assists in 37 appearances, you’re hardly going to miss out on being in the team of the season. In my opinion Mahrez was the biggest reason behind Leicester winning the league, his class in a team full of workers was often the difference between a win and a loss. Mahrez had a solid year last year, however was incredibly inconsistent, this year he was the epitome of consistency and more than deserving of his place.
If Mahrez was the bit of something special that Leicester needed to win the league, then Kante was the engine that they needed. He seemed to be everywhere, giving everything from start to finish. Usually you see a player running about at Kante’s rate and think that there’s no way that he can last the entire game at that intensity, however game after game he went against the norm and did exactly that. Kante embodies what Leicester were, a hard working team with high energy who never say die.
Not enough people are talking about what a great year Dembele had, and it’s criminal. Too many people are getting caught up with the rise of Dele Alli and the impact which he had to the Spurs midfield, when it was actually the improvement of Dembele in the centre which helped Spurs make a decent title challenge. Big, strong, physical, and having added an ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck on a consistent basis, Dembele was a monster in the middle for Spurs, his maturity and experience was huge for a young Spurs team this season. He only managed 29 games and you can only imagine that Spurs would have been better off had he been available for 38.
There is something special about players like Dimitri Payet, a man who can pull something out of nothing and has a killer dead ball ability. 9 goals and 12 assists in only 30 appearances is quite a return for a man who was one of the main reasons for West Ham’s Champions League push. The fact that the teams form tended to drop when Payet was out of the team says everything about how instrumental he was to their season, and what a great year he had as well.
The league’s top goal scorer, with a return of 25 in only his second season. You can actually see Spurs’ form improve when Kane begins to start scoring after a slow start, and then see that exact form collapse when he stop scoring at the end. Kane is Tottenham’s most important player, he’s the heart and soul of the team and he seems like a nice guy too. It’s crazy to think that Kane only scored 1 goal in his first 10 Premier League games, I’m sure a lot of people were getting ready to call him a one season wonder; he more than proved them wrong.
I can’t believe that I’m sitting here writing about Jamie Vardy having scored 24 goals in the Premier League… Truly remarkable. Vardy broke the Premier League consecutive goal scoring record (because football only started in 1992) and notched up 24 goals and a further 6 assists. Vardy’s form dropped off pretty dramatically in the second half of the season, however when it got down to the nitty gritty Vardy stepped up with some massive goals. Vardy’s pace in behind played perfectly into Leicester’s high press long ball style of play, and although I think that Kante and Mahrez were more important, if there isn’t someone putting away those chances then Leicester aren’t winning the league, and Vardy did a great job of that.
An interesting stat about Vardy is that he won 7 penalties this season, the only team other than Leicester who received more penalties was Man City, let that sink in… Vardy won as many and more penalties than 18 clubs this season. The issue being that he’s a cheating cunt, generally getting in front of defenders then moving his legs into an unnatural position so as to initiate a false contact and con the referee (you would thought after the first few they would have clocked on), I wouldn’t call it diving as such (diving to me insinuates no contact at all), I would however call it simulation and he’s been doing it for years and somehow getting away with it, either way Vardy’s tumbling was vital for Leicester’s title win.
It’s pretty hard to make any shocking or unexpected selections for a best team of the year team; generally you can pick it without even reading the post. The thing being that the guys who have had really good seasons generally receive all the big plaudits, so other than a couple of positions I think that the team really picks itself.
If you haven’t been counting that makes 3 Leicester, 3 Spurs, 2 Man Utd, 2 Arsenal and 1 West Ham player in the team of the season.
So what did you think of the Premier League Team of the Year? Are you wondering where Dele Alli is? Or maybe you can’t believe that Sergio Aguero has missed out for another year. Well leave a comment and share those thoughts.